Mount Desert Island High School boys' swimmers pose with their first-place plaque after the Class B state championships Feb. 20 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDIHS

Boys swim state champs! MDI girls finish third

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School boys’ swim team returned home Tuesday evening to full fire-truck honors and cheers at the head of the island. The team won the Class B championship Tuesday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, the first in nine years for the MDI boys.

Junior Liam Sullivan was named Swimmer of the Meet; his times of 51.99 seconds in the 100 backstroke and 1 minute, 53.66 seconds in the 200 IM were state and meet records, respectively.

The Trojans edged rival Ellsworth 342-326.5 to win their seventh boys’ crown and 12th state championship overall, putting an exclamation point on two terrific days for the boys’ and girls’ teams.

“It’s been a long road to get here, but give credit to these kids because they fought and fought,” MDI Head Coach Tony DeMuro said. “We knew after how close we got last week that we could do this, and they made it happen.”

The Trojans and Eagles both went into the meet as the favorites to finish first and second on the boys’ side. Ellsworth had nipped MDI by a single point at the Feb. 9 Penobscot Valley Conference championships, and there was little separating the two teams entering the state meet.

MDI jumped out to an early lead with a team win in the 200-yard medley relay and a win from Liam Sullivan in the 200-yard individual medley. Ellsworth closed the gap entering the final few races, but it wasn’t enough, as a first-place finish from Sullivan in the 100-yard backstroke and a runner-up finish from Isaac Weaver in the 100-yard breaststroke sealed MDI’s win.

A day earlier, the MDI girls’ team posted one of its best finishes of the season with top-five placements in a number of races. The Trojans finished with 223 points to claim third place behind Cape Elizabeth and Greely.

“Our girls shattered their personal best times,” DeMuro said. “I thought we would finish fourth going into the meet, but the girls just swam so phenomenally that it made third possible.”

Senior Eliza Schleif finished fourth in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyles with respective times of 2:04.35 and 5:34.17. She also joined Ruby Brown, Mei Mei White and Adria Horton on a team that won the 200-yard freestyle relay and teamed up with White, Anna Naggert and Maddie Woodworth to earn a team win in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Brown, Woodworth, Horton and Naggert placed third of 16 finishers in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:50.18. Horton finished third in the 500 free and fifth in the 100-yard butterfly.

“We train all year for this, and we have a great feeder program and a team atmosphere that helps us rise to the challenge,” DeMuro said. “Our kids would swim in a pool or a puddle if you told them. They’re just the hardest workers, and I can’t say enough about them.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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